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to our blog about 2017′s trip to India. It seems like a long time since our trips of 2009 and 2011, a time spent wishing to return but either time or money stood in the way.

Now it’s time to return.

A self-organised backpacking trip travelling by train whereever possible, by car when trains aren’t possible but starting with a single internal flight from Mumbai to Chennai.

Unlike last time where hardly any hotels were booked we will prebook virtually everything. Why? Well, that’s simple: we saved very little money by not booking in advance but we wasted precious time looking for places, or giving us stress trying to negotiate a good rate. In short, the saving of money was not worth the waste of time. This is probably a different story than for budget travellers who aren’t time limited but we are and also we have the luxury of easily being able to raise our budget – although we’d rather not.

Wherever possible hotels will give way to much smaller places, many of which are called homestays, although none of these are on the level of our previous homestay experience in Orchha, which will stay with me for the rest of my life.

All the trains have been booked via a use of erail.in and irctc.co.in, and as soon as the reservations opened which is generally 120 days ahead of the travel date. Booking trains is crucial for time limited travellers like us as Indian trains are near impossible to book for immediate travel. For trains we’re taking quite a few overnight ones, mainly in class 2A which is the second class down, still airconditioned, still clean and hopefully this will allow to get some sleep ahead of the next day’s tourist stuff.